Book Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

ELEANOR AND PARKTitle: Eleanor & Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Published: February 26, 2013

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 325

Source: Bought from Fully Booked


Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

*Image and synopsis from Goodreads

My review: 

I’ve always been a fan of contemporary fiction and picking up Eleanor & Park was a good decision. It was the first contemporary YA I read after a long streak of dystopian, paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction. I had a difficult time putting the book down as soon as I started reading. I even brought the book at work because I couldn’t part ways with it! Yeah, I’m clingy like that. 🙂 I would squeeze in a few minutes of reading during break time.

 Eleanor & Park is a remarkable novel about first love. Eleanor and Park are two misfits brought together by music and comic books. As gravity pulls them closer to one another, Eleanor and Park build a world where both of them are the only inhabitants. And in that world, they explore each other’s mysteries and differences.

Awkward and unforgettable firsts as well as issues of insecurity, parental abuse, fitting in, and bullying make up the slide show of events in Eleanor & Park. Readers will be submerged in a vortex of emotions as they journey with Eleanor and Park toward the road of falling in love, self-discovery and acceptance of one’s flaws.

Eleanor and Park bear distinctive qualities that make them who they are. What I like about both characters is that they stay true to themselves no matter what others think of them. The book enlightens readers that imperfection is what makes a person interesting. The flaws of every human being are marks of one’s uniqueness. I’m certain that readers who presently go through a rough time in high school would find light in the story.

Eleanor and Park’s love for each other gave them courage to confront difficulties that cross their path. And because of love, Eleanor and Park realize that things, regardless of how impossible or complicated they may be, are worth fighting for.

I commend the author, Rainbow Rowell, for capturing the essence of high school life amazingly. Her writing is so genuine and natural, drawing emotions and igniting senses that make readers feel alive. Her descriptions explode with radiance and clarity that produce vivid images in the mind. The alternate POVs excellently illustrated the story, giving an eloquent, rich and insightful narration of events. Although the story is written in past tense, every action feels immediate and intimate which I really find astonishing.

Rainbow Rowell breathed life to her characters with so much heart; thus, marvelously infused authenticity and color to a fictional world. Eleanor & Park touched my heart and soul. It is contemporary young adult fiction at its finest. I recommend the book to anyone who wants to experience falling in love for the first time. I definitely cannot wait for Fangirl!


5/5 stars


6 thoughts on “Book Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

  1. Lovely review! I really loved Eleanor & Park from the bottom of my heart and after reading it, I felt overwhelmed. I think I’ll reread it again soon and give writing a review for it another chance. I can’t wait to read Fangirl too! I’m totally counting down the days until that one comes out.

    • Thanks, Hazel! Eleanor & Park has a special place in my heart. So excited to read Fangirl! Rainbow Rowell is awesome! 🙂

  2. This is the second book by Rainbow Rowell that’s caught my eye recently, I’ll definitely try one of her novels this year. Glad you loved this one, first love pangs and all! 🙂

  3. great review! 🙂 i loved how rainbow brought me back to highschool -mushy, awkward highschool – and the feeling of falling in love for the first time through this book! (not that i’ve been out of it for a long time)

  4. Pingback: Best YA Books of 2013 | THE LIFELONG BOOKWORM

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